Housing Information for Renters
If you're a renter, the following resources are available to assist in your housing needs.
As of Jul 06, 2022, PHFA has financed 139,974 affordable and/or accessible apartment units throughout Pennsylvania. This total continues to increase annually. We look forward to providing support and capital to help fund additional decent, safe, and affordable apartments for older adults, persons of modest means, and persons with special housing needs.
Housing Counseling Stability Program
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law and appropriated $100 million to NeighborWorks® America (NeighborWorks), to fund the Housing Stability Counseling Program (HSCP).
Households facing housing instability, such as eviction, default, foreclosure, loss of income, or homelessness can contact a housing counseling agency, free of charge. Housing counseling specialists are HUD certified and can offer options specific to the client’s need, create an action plan, assist with credit and budget and a plethora of other benefits.
Search for Affordable Rental Housing
If you're a renter, your search for affordable housing, rental or permanent, in Pennsylvania couldn't be easier. You're one click away from a simple-to-use housing locator Web site that lets you define what you want in your next living space, and then it does all the research – presenting you with the relevant housing vacancies that best fit your parameters in the community where you want to live. This high-powered housing locator service is available any time of day at PAHousingSearch.com. A bilingual call center is also available weekdays from 9 am until 8 pm, Monday through Friday, at 1.877.428.8844 with operators standing by to help guide your hunt for affordable housing.
Start your affordable housing search at www.pahousingsearch.com.
PHFA Rental Housing Inventory
The properties in this list also appear on the PAHousingSearch.com website, but the two lists are not identical. This list simply identifies properties that have been funded at some point by PHFA. In comparison, the customized lists available from PAHousingSearch.com allows you to identify actual vacancies in rental properties around the state, some of which have not been funded by PHFA. That list is the best one to use when hunting for units available for rent.
Choose a county from the list below to locate a development that has received PHFA funding or for which PHFA is the Section 8 Contract Administrator.
Prepared Renter Program (PREP)
PREP can help you become a better tenant and improve your chances of getting an apartment by making you prepared for the lease signing and tenant selection process. PREP was developed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, Inc. (SDHP).
Financial Education and Coaching
PHFA developed the Financial Education and Coaching Program to help renters, homebuyers, and homeowners understand and improve their personal finances. We offer these programs in workshop or face-to-face settings. Read below to determine which setting is most suitable for you.
Financial Education Webinars
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency believes that renters, homebuyers and homeowners can all benefit from skills that help them better manage their personal finances. Smarter money management can help alleviate stress related to monthly rent or mortgage payments. Plus, financial education can help people make better housing choices that fit their lifestyle and their pocketbook. When families have stable housing, they don’t move as much and communities thrive. With this in mind, PHFA will regularly provide online personal finance seminars available at no cost to the public. Check back often for new and updated classes. We welcome your feedback about topics of interest. Feel free to email us at AskPHFA@PHFA.org.
**This just added: Complete all eight Building Your Financial House topics and earn the chance to win one of four, $500 perfect attendance awards to get started building yours!** (Participants must attend a session for each topic in order to qualify for the drawing. No exceptions.)
Financial Education Workshop
Whether you are considering buying a home, currently in the market, a first-time or long-term homeowner, struggling to make your payments, or just want to improve your credit, this series of four workshops can help you learn to manage your money. The workshops are provided in a group setting and are available to you at no cost through one of our certified housing counselors.
After you've completed your Financial Education sessions, you're eligible to meet with a counselor one-on-one to get help with your personal finances. These private coaching sessions can be either face-to-face or on the phone, and are also free of charge.
Program topics include:
- Goals, Assets, and Earnings
- Will help you understand your personal assets and how to set financial goals.
- You will also learn about different sources of income, and how employer-provided benefits contribute to your overall financial health.
- Spend, Save, and Invest
- Teaches steps to making effective money decisions, choosing between needs and wants, and managing your cash flow.
- You will learn the differences between saving and investing, and how to diversify your savings and investments to maximize and protect your assets.
- Review Taxes, Manage Risk, and Protect Your Money
- Will teach you the basics of income taxes, and understanding your income tax return.
- You will also discuss tools to manage risk, including insurance, identity theft protection, and Consumer Protection Resources.
- How to Get, Use, and Manage Credit
- This final section will discuss the importance of maintaining good credit, and how to use it to build your assets.
To locate a counseling agency in your area, please choose a county from the menu list below; or, select "All Counties" for a statewide list.
Financial Capabilities Face-to-Face Session
We are excited to announce our Take Charge of Your Money, Financial Capabilities campaign. At PHFA, we believe that a true understanding of your finances is essential in order to make the best decisions that ultimately affect your future and the future of your loved ones. The goal of the campaign is to attract and serve more consumers interested in managing their personal finances regardless of where they are in the homeownership process. We have agencies all over PA providing financial education at no cost to you. If you are looking for a face-to-face session where you can discuss your current situation, do a deeper dive into your spending habits, and create manageable goals that will shape the quality of your life moving forward, then find a counseling agency near you and Take Charge of your Money!
If you are interested in buying a home, PHFA may be able to help you. We offer home loans with low interest rates and fewer fees. Our network of reputable lenders will guide you through the process one step at a time. Our team of counseling agencies will help you become an informed consumer so you know what questions to ask and are not afraid to ask them. Take the first step by simply reviewing the information on this site under the homebuyers section to find out if you're eligible for a PHFA home loan.
- Renting a Place: How much can you afford? - YouTube Video (courtesy of Bank of America)
- Is buying a home right for you? - YouTube Video (courtesy of Bank of America)
- A Tenant's Guide to Renting (courtesy of the Neighborhood Legal Services Association)
- Your Right as a Tenant to a Decent Home (courtesy of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network)
- Renting an Apartment - YouTube Video (courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission)
- Five Things to do Before Signing a Lease - YouTube Video (courtesy of Rent.com)
- Tenants' Rights in Dealing with Bed Bugs (courtesy of North Penn Legal Services)
- Steps to better money management - YouTube Video (courtesy of Bank of America)
- How to set a budget and stick to it - YouTube Video (courtesy of Bank of America)
- Building an emergency fund - YouTube Video (courtesy of Bank of America)